biomechanical considerations in equine laminitis
This thesis offers a contemporary review of the biomechanics involved in the disease of equine laminitis with respect to the methods of prevention and treatment. It begins with an introduction of the anatomy of the equine foot and how that anatomy serves a biomechanical purpose. An emphasis on the forces acting on a normal equine foot is presented with respect to different periods of the stance phase. The reaction of the internal structures of the foot to impact shocks and weightbearing is also outlined. Using the most current data, a generalized overview of laminitis follows and each of the four distinct phases are covered in detail. Known risk factors for laminitis and identified epidemiologic trends as well as economic impact are presented. Laminitis is examined from a biomechanical perspective and how normal biomechanical forces may affect prognosis. The scientific literature review specifically relates to the biomechanical effects of current methods of laminitis prevention and treatment. A scientific journal manuscript is presented and outlines a study evaluating the center of pressure and load distribution in a population of normal horses utilizing a common, but unsubstantiated, treatment for acute laminitis.